Following my earlier blog about the Countryside Alliance and the relationship with its charitable foundation, I have had the following comment from a Chartered Accountant on the latest published accounts of the Countryside Alliance Foundation:
“The charity should be following Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice (Revised 2005). This is more generally known as SORP 2005.
It also follows the Financial Reporting Standards for Smaller Entities (FRSSE) which is a Companies Act disclosure standard.. However, in areas where the SORP and the FRSSE conflict then the SORP should be followed.
In general I think the disclosure is poor. The SORP stresses the importance of detailed proper disclosure.
Page 32, paragraph 221 and following cover related party transactions. Paragraph 224 stresses transparency.
Note 7 of the accounts is anything but transparent.
Which directors lent what to the company?
Who received what interest?
This should have been disclosed in these accounts.
In addition to a lack of detail relating to the above transactions it is rather unbelievable that the accounts do not mention that Mr White-Spunner was leader of the Countryside Alliance!
The FRSSE requires that the accounts disclose the name and relationship of any party which controls the reporting entity along with the name of ultimate controlling party if different. I would have expected a note either saying that the Countryside Alliance Foundation was controlled by the Countryside Alliance or more likely that there was no overall controlling entity. I would like to see how they justified the latter statement.
I think that most people would assume that the CA controls the CAF so the accounts should address the issue.”